25 February 2013

UPlay nightmares...

"I'm bored." I sulk.

"I don't want to play anything in my pile or anything I've already played. I don't want to watch anything either. I need something new and fresh!!"

"I know I'll get a new game. Hmmm."

Walks down to the shop.

"€60 for FarCry 3 on PS3? But I have steam and I KNOW it's only £30 on there. Let me get it on Steam instead! I is smart!"

I download the game, write a letter and watch some supernatural whilst this is happening.

"D'oh! I forgot this was an Ubisoft title." I mutter as the UPlay prompt comes up. "I know I have an account but I can't remember my password! Let me recover it to save time."

"Recovering" the password actually does no such thing since, you do not get the same password you had used, instead you change the password to a new one via your registered email account. My hopes that Ubisoft is employing or contracting people who are competent when they have such a poor understanding of simple English is fading.

I enter the password - apparently it's very "strong" - and everything proceeds fine but then my account will not let me log in upon trying to do so via launching the game. Some errors about being offline but then I sort that out and it's just the password thing.

"I don't get it." I say, frustrated.

I google and search for an answer and nothing is to be found except other people who have similar problems. In an attempt to solve the problem, I uninstall and reinstall (from the official site, not a steam download) the UPlay software. No difference....

"So, it wasn't a corrupt install."

Then, in a stroke of familiarity, I realise that I had a similar problem with Skype. The problem then had been that Skype allows you to enter a certain number of characters: not more, not less. However, it doesn't stop you from doing so - like you would think any half-competent software developer would consider doing for their stupid users*.

I "recover" my password once more - this time counting the number of characters I use. I was one over budget the first time!

Since I'm now logged into UPlay and I have a visible "CD key"  (despite this being a digital download) I think to myself, "Why not just register it now?"

I discover, upon trying to do this that the UPlay store is completely useless. You cannot register games in your account or in "my games" nor in the store itself (which, incidentally appears to be a completely separate component of the UPlay experience, one it has to load in a separate window - even when you're online and already connected to the Ubisoft servers)...

"Hmmm. Let's try loading up FarCry 3 and seeing if it'll prompt me then." I puzzle.

NOPE! I appears that I need to close the existing instance of UPlay in order to open up a new UPlay instance and play the game. WTF?!! Just use the one that's open you idiots! They're the same goddamn piece of software for Christ's sake!

So, I close UPlay and let Steam open it's particular brand of special UPlay - with all the same options and whatnot. I register the game. So far so good. But then I think, "Okay, I don't have the fastest rig in the world... I don't want to be running two services simultaneously in a Matroyshka-esque 'elephants all the way down' scenario to run one game. Let's see if I can just use UPlay, since Steam apparently doesn't want to let me play without having it running in the background."

NOPE! UPlay doesn't even recognise the fact that I own the game. Hmmm. This is more than a little annoying. It's pretty unfriendly to your paying customers, to be honest.

I wanted to play a game, a good game. I was already avoiding Ubisoft always-on DRM and completely forgot that FC3 was a Ubi title and would have completely avoided the game if I'd have realised when purchasing. Now I'm stuck with some inferior piece of crap software that is worse than Games for Windows!

Seriously... and developers and publishers wonder why people are switching to Free to Play and mobile games? Get a clue!

I wish I'd paid more and got the damn game on console.

The worst part is that Steam treats the UPlay software as the game itself, meaning that I can't do anything else in steam until I manually close it down each and every time!!

*Stupid users is an official term that software developers use - I know this because I speak to them quite often. This also applies to network admins as well.

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